A former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, says his successor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has no reason to owe salaries and pensions, even as the incumbent governor collected federal government bailout funds.
Orji in a statement issued by his liaison officer, Ifeanyi Umere yesterday in a reaction to the strike by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress over unpaid salaries and pension, said; “It’s unfortunate that I am forced to comment and refute the half-truths being dished out by those who through their own bad choices have found themselves in a quagmire.
“For the avoidance of doubt, neither myself nor my administration is responsible for the staggering salary arrears owed civil servants, parastatals and pensioners in the state.”
He said when his administration exited on May 29, 2015 core civil servants were not owed even one month’s salary, while staff of parastatals were owed between two and four months.
“The records are there,” said the senator for Abia Central.
According to the former governor, the arrears his administration recorded were necessitated by the dwindling federal allocation occasioned by the worsening global economy.
He noted that the price of crude oil had crashed and the states were getting a paltry two to three billion naira monthly which was not even enough to run the state including capital and recurrent expenditures.